Fraisier Recipe

I can’t think of too many desserts that can beat a fraisier when it comes to presentation. This one, like all fancy pastries, is best done over the course of several days so you can pay close attention to each of the components. I like an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ bottomless cake square for this. Alternately you can use a square cheesecake mold. A bottomless 9″ cake circle (a stainless steel hoop is really what it is) will also work. Springform pans in either of those sizes work well too. You’ll need:

1 recipe génoise baked in a 13 x 18 sheet
about 3 1/2 cups crème mousseline
1/2 recipe simple syrup spiked with 2 tablespoons cognac (optional)
1 pound strawberries
about 8 ounces marzipan, tinted red, yellow or green

Cut an 8″ square piece of cardboard to fit the square pan, or a 9″ round one of that’s the shape you’re using. Using the cardboard square as a guide, cut two squares out of the sheet of génoise. If the form you’re using doesn’t have a bottom, place the cardboard piece on the bottom to serve as a base. Place one of the génoise squares on top of it and brush it with the cognac syrup.

Next select the 12-15 largest strawberries from your batch and slice off the tops so they’ll sit upright when stood upside-down. Split those down the middle with a sharp knife and arrange them cut side-out against the sides of the mold. Spoon in enough crème mousseline to come about half way up the strawberry halves, gently pressing the cream into the gaps between the strawberries. Cut the remaining strawberries into pieces and lay them out on the mousseline layer. Add on all but the last few tablespoons of mousseline. Place the remaining génoise square on top of the mousseline and brush it with cake syrup. Place your cardboard square on top of the fraisier (or a second piece if you need to cut one) and press it down gently to encourage the mousseline to fill in any gaps between the strawberries.

Lastly, roll out the marzipan to a thickness of less than 1/8 of an inch. Spread the last few tablespoons of the mousseline over the top of the fraisier to act as a sort of glue. Lay the marzipan over the top of the fraisier and trim the edges. Chill the fraisier for a minimum of 4 hours. Unmold it by applying a rag soaked in hot water to the sides, then gently pushing the cake up from the bottom until the cake square is freed. Decorate with strawberry slices and/or royal icing patters as you like! Chill until ready to serve.

11 thoughts on “Fraisier Recipe”

  1. I researched this earlier this year because my son in law wanted a strawberry filled cake for his birthday in…JANUARY. Say what? He works for a grocery store, sees strawberries and supposes what are available are always tasty. Well, I made him the wooden strawberry cake but not a Fraizier. You see, it’s the genoise; I just don’t seem to be able to master this cake. Freaking folding in butter just lets all the air out. I’m such a loser.

    1. I shall stand for no such defeatist talk, Susan. Sponge cake, which by definition has no will of its own, absolutely can be mastered. Ever tried following my tutorial for génoise? It contains a step for lightening the melted butter with some of the egg foam first. It really helps! Alternately you can use an American-style chemically leavened jelly roll cake for this. The purists may scream, but then when did the purists ever do anything for you? Give it another shot! 😉


      – Joe

      1. Adding butter to a genoise is definitely going to result in some loss of volume. However, if you have properly beaten the eggs and aren’t overfolding the mixture afterward, it shouldn’t kill it completely. I would pay particular close attention to these two steps. Alternatively, you can also make a genoise without adding butter!

  2. My birthday is in June and every year, I try to make some variation of strawberry cake. I’ve made some Fraisier and yes, the best recipe always calls for crème mousseline rather than whipped cream (or even buttercream 🙁 ). I do, however, adore the light airiness of whipped cream over Japanese/Asian-style genoise (which is super duper airy) but again, it’s not true Fraisier, is it? I will try to make your version next year. Thank you for sharing, Joe!

    1. Hey Claire!

      I’m not going to put a stick in the sand about what constitutes a “true” fraisier, since I’ve had them with very airy sponges and they’re delightful that way. And whipped cream…it’s a classic with strawberries, how can you not love that? I’m not a big believer in “authentic” anything. My goal is primarily to introduce classic pastries to readers, then let them change them as they see fit!


      – Joe

  3. I will have to try this next spring when I get quarts and quarts of local strawberries from my CSA.

    1. Indeed. I feel a bit sheepish about doing this in November, but the strawberries are so good here right now it seems like the perfect off-season opportunity.


      – Joe

  4. Joe
    I have never heard of a Frasier, but the name caught my eye as it is one of my husband’s clan names – he being of Scottish descent. When I think of the food of Scotland, strawberries are not on the top of my list of guesses. Will you discuss the history/naming of this dessert?

    A related question – this month’s issue of Cook’s Country features a Blitz Torte on the cover. I haven’t read every detail of the recipe yet but on the surface it looks like it might be similar to the Frasier???

    1. Hey Linda!

      That word is very close to “Frasier” but it’s actually frais-ier, “fraise” being the French word for strawberry. But I’m sure wild strawberries grow in Scotland. I wonder if there’s any connection between those words? There just might be!

      Thanks for the question, Linda!

      – Joe

      1. So glad I was wrong! The mental picture of a big, flaming haggis washed down with gallons of scotch followed by a dainty strawberry cake was making my head hurt!! Which brings up another question – are there any Scottish showstopper desserts? My impression has been that most of their food is focused on sustenance and not whimsy.

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